We are all wired to desire love and connection with those around us, seeking to develop deep, meaningful relationships in this life. However, the quest to find this is harder than it may at first appear. Not only are we facing the challenges that life will throw our way, but we must also face the barriers preventing love within our own minds.
The biggest barrier to finding and experiencing true love may actually exist within your own mind. In many cases, this manifests as a fear of love in one form or another. You may fear the concept of love altogether, avoiding even considering it, or you may find yourself sabotaging any attempts to fall in love without even realizing you are doing so in a misguided attempt to protect yourself. This fear can cost you happiness, pleasure, and joy. The best way to overcome it? Identify the reason for your fear and address it head-on. It won’t be easy or comfortable, but when you experience true love, it will be worth it.
Here are 9 common reasons why people are afraid of falling in love:
#1 – The Roller Coaster of Emotions
Look back in your life and you will see countless examples – every time that we find joy in life we are also faced with the sting of pain and heartbreak soon thereafter. It’s a balance that is necessary in order for us to truly value the blessings that have been bestowed upon us, but that doesn’t make it any easier. By accepting love into our lives, we know that we will also be welcoming pain at one time or another, and that can be hard to accept. However, know that when all the cards are on the table, love is worth it.
#2 – Questioning Our Self-Worth
If you have ever found yourself questioning the value that you can bring to your relationships, know that you aren’t alone. Faced with the expectations that society places upon us for the ‘perfect relationship’ along with the critical thoughts within our own minds, it is no wonder that it leaves many of us wondering or feeling as though we may fall short. However, know that the people in our lives are here because they love us for who we are, not what we can bring to their lives. They have chosen to welcome you into their lives because they see you as worthy of their love.
#3 – Fears of Mortality
As we find ourselves developing a closer relationship with those around us, it can open our eyes to the one definitive truth that we all need to accept someday – we are all going to die. It’s not that you are afraid of death itself, that’s generally not the struggle when it comes to the consideration of falling in love. Instead, you will find yourself suddenly fearing the pain that you may experience if you ever lost someone that you love so dear. By allowing them into your heart, you are creating a deeper, more meaningful relationship than ever before, and you fear losing that. The hardest part about this is knowing that it is completely out of our control.
#4 – Change of Plan
If you are a highly organized and driven individual, there is a good chance that you have already developed a clear plan for how you predict your life will play out. This includes the accomplishments you seek to hit along the way, the path that you see as most likely to bring you the success that you desire as well as some failsafe plans designed to overcome many of the great challenges you believe that you will face along the way. When someone else comes into our lives, they can dramatically alter the predicted outcome, forcing you to make a change to a plan you have come to accept and rely upon. This can be an incredibly frightening experience, especially for the planners among us.
#5 – Vulnerability
True love and the connection that comes with it requires us to lower our barriers and inhibitions. In this way, it leaves us vulnerable to those that we are trusting with our heart. For those who have spent most of their lives on high alert, protecting themselves from the risk of heartbreak, this can be a frightening experience. However, as difficult as it may be, you need to open your heart fully to those that you love, trusting they will protect it.
#6 – The Inequality of Love
In an ideal relationship, both partners would share an equal level of affection, dedication, and devotion to one another. Unfortunately, experience tells us that this often isn’t true. Many relationships are somewhat one-sided, which can be hard to live through. Imagine discovering that you gave everything you had to a person only to discover they didn’t reciprocate the same feelings in return? This is a reality that many fear. However, to avoid love entirely simply because this may or may not happen is to punish yourself for what someone may do to you in the future. We have to trust that when we find ‘the one’ they will love us strongly in return.
#7 – Love is Unpredictable
You have likely had the opportunity to witness a number of different relationships by this stage in your life, and in doing so you’ve had the chance to see just how unpredictable love can be. From hookups to breakups, falling in and out of love, and the incredible impact that emotions can have on our connection with others. In a world where we love to feel a sense of control, love is uncontrollable, and that can be incredibly difficult to accept.
#8 – Facing Pain from the Past
As you meet someone new and open the door to a potential relationship, it may trigger painful feelings from the past. This includes emotions tied to former romantic relationships, as well as other relationships that have had an impact on our lives such as family ties or friendships. While these are hard to face, the only way to let go of these negative feelings is to face them head-on. If someone has hurt you in the past, don’t allow their pain to continue to hurt you in the present. You deserve the chance to break free and find something great.
#9 – Distance from Family
When you were a child, your family was all that you had, your home base. In a healthy home, they formed your ‘safety net’, the one place that you know you would always feel loved, cared for and protected. As we grow up, we may distance ourselves slightly from that, meeting new friends and chasing our dreams, but we always hold onto that safety net that we can fall back on. When we enter into a new, committed romantic relationship, we are starting our own family unit. While this doesn’t break ties with the family entirely, it very well may create distance between you and your family because they are no longer your number 1 priority. This can be overwhelming or frightening to consider but know that you aren’t removing your family from your life entirely. This is a new chapter in your life and your family is still very much part of it, they are just taking on a different role. As long as you are willing to put the effort into maintaining these ties, they have the ability to stay strong.